Thumbs up for good leadership go to two STEM-industry employers who have implemented gender-inclusive policies to support working mothers.
Thumbs down goes to two businesses exploiting migrant workers and another guilty of maintaining an unsafe workplace.
THUMBS UP: QIMR BERGHOFER
This Queensland medical research institute is trying to retain and boost its number of women scientists by paying those with at least one child below high school age an extra $10,000 a year. It also has a breastfeeding room and reserved places at a nearby childcare centre. Women currently fill 36 per cent of QIMR Berghofer’s scientific leadership roles.
THUMBS UP: AMAZON
The online retailing colossus Amazon is ditching its ‘stack-ranking’ system – a review process where staff were pitted against each other instead of being rated against their own job requirements. (The lowest ranked employees used to be ‘let go’ in an effort to retain a highly productive workforce.)
THUMBS UP: SAP ASIA-PACIFIC-JAPAN
The enterprise software giant is encouraging women who have had a career break to get back into work by offering flexible part-time and full-time project work. SAP told HC Online the Back-To-Work program is a chance to draw on the experience of an “untapped pool of talent”.
THUMBS DOWN: BIJAL GIRISH SHETH
Queensland businessman Bijal Girish Sheth is in hot water with the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) for underpaying four migrant workers at his Brisclean business, and saying they were contractors when they should have been employees. He copped the highest ever penalty secured by the FWO against an individual ($126,540) and has been ordered to backpay the workers nearly $60,000.
THUMBS DOWN: COVINO FARMS
ABC’s Four Corners uncovered gross underpayment of 100 migrant workers by Covino Farms, which supplies major supermarkets and fast food chains. Covino has subsequently ended its agreement with the labour hire businesses that provided the workers. State government grants of $1.5 million have been suspended until Covino makes good on its promise to provide 60 local full-time jobs.
THUMBS DOWN: RESOURCE RECOVERY SOLUTIONS
The Perth waste recycling company was fined $85,000 after pleading guilty to failing to maintain a safe working environment. In 2013, a labour hire worker died when the roof of a picking station collapsed under 709kg of rubbish – more than five times the Safe Working Load. The rubbish had fallen from two overhead conveyor belts above the picking station.